需要寄养父母!

难民和移民寄养服务

Ascentria 是马萨诸塞州唯一一个为孤身难民和移民儿童提供寄养服务的项目。 通过孤身未成年难民计划(Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program)和孤身儿童计划(Unaccompanied Children Program),Ascentria 为来到美国寻求安全但没有父母或监护人照顾的青少年提供寄养服务。

您是否愿意加入新英格兰地区唯一一个照顾孤身儿童的寄养计划?

Foster Parents Needed!

Refugee and Immigrant Foster Care

Ascentria is the only program in Massachusetts offering foster care to unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children. Through the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program and the Unaccompanied Children Program, Ascentria provides foster care services to youth that have come to the United States seeking safety without a parent or guardian to care for them.

Will you join one of the only foster care programs in New England caring for unaccompanied children? 

Foster Parents Needed!

If your heart is called to help immigrants from crises, such as the record-breaking number of unaccompanied children entering the U.S., this program is a way to make a tremendous impact!

Both our Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) Program and Unaccompanied Children (UC) Program provide foster care to youth fleeing dangerous circumstances in their home countries and seeking safety in the United States, who are without a parent or guardian to care for them.

We are committed to recruiting, training, licensing and supporting a diverse network of foster parents to care for this unique population of youth. 

Ascentria welcomes foster parents of all kinds, whether homeowners or renters, single or married, first-time parents or experienced parents. Ascentria does not discriminate against foster parent applicants on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion or nationality.

To learn about the differences between our sister URM and UC programs, read on, or contact us.

Ascentria is committed to being a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ children, youth, parents and families.

We are proud to announce that we are one of the 172 organizations recognized in the 2023 Cycle of the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children – All Families (ACAF) initiative. With the support of ACAF, Ascentria’s Children and Family Services programs are taking active steps toward improving LGBTQ+ inclusivity, including policy changes, staff training, and external communications updates.

Two ways to help children entering the U.S. unaccompanied by a parent or guardian:

Unaccompanied Children Program

The UC Program at Ascentria provides Long Term Foster Care (LTFC) to children that fled their home countries and arrived to the US seeking safety without a parent or guardian. As a program through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Ascentria’s UC Program provides foster care to children in federal custody, who are newly arrived to the United States and are unable to identify a relative or sponsor to safely reunify with.

Children in the UC Program are each working with an immigration attorney to receive legal status, typically in hopes to enter the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program.

Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program

The URM program is contracted with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) to provide foster care for unaccompanied refugee minors with varying legal statuses.

Youth in the URM Program are typically working toward the goal of finding permanency through their foster family and building skills towards independence.

There are only about a dozen URM programs across the country, and Ascentria is proud to offer this unique program!

Who Are Unaccompanied Refugee Minors?

Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URMs) arrived to our program under the age of 18 and resettled alone in the United States, without a parent, relative or other adult to care for them. URM youth are typically ages 16 to 22, are about 75% male, and come from 25 countries around the world. URMs fled dangerous circumstances in their home countries leading them to obtain one of the unique legal statuses below:

Afghan Humanitarian Parolee Minors

Young people who arrived to the U.S. starting in August of 2021 as a result of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the subsequent takeover by the Taliban. Afghan youth are typically in short-term foster care programs or shelters across the U.S. prior to arriving to Massachusetts.

Asylee Minors (Asylum Seekers)

Youth who meet the same definition as a Refugee, but arrived to the U.S. of their own accord. Once in the U.S., or at a land border or port of entry, they apply to the Department of Homeland Security for asylum. Asylee youth are typically in detention, shelters or short-term foster care programs across the U.S. prior to arriving in Massachusetts.

Refugee Minors

Youth identified overseas and legally designated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, or political opinion. Unaccompanied Refugee youth are placed directly into foster care upon their arrival to Massachusetts.

Special Immigrant Juveniles

Youth granted status in the U.S. because of a history of abuse, neglect or abandonment by a caregiver. SIJ youth are typically in detention, shelters or short term foster care programs across the U.S. prior to arriving in Massachusetts.

Victims of Trafficking

Youth granted status in the U.S. because of a history of forced labor or sexual exploitation. Youth that are survivors of trafficking are typically in detention, shelters or short term foster care programs across the U.S. prior to arriving in Massachusetts.

Cuban/Haitian Entrants

Cuban/Haitian entrants are defined as certain nationals of Cuba and Haiti who have permission to reside in the U.S. based on humanitarian considerations or under special laws that apply to them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Join Us for an Information Session

To continue learning about foster care and how you can help unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children in need, watch one of our no-obligation information sessions.

Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent

Whether you are interested in fostering for the UC or URM program, the process to become licensed is the same! Our recruiters make it easy for you to start the process of opening your home to a youth in need of a safe, nurturing environment.

1

Inquire, Apply and Background Check

Contact our foster parent recruitment specialists to start the process!

2

Training and Assessment

After your application has been approved, you will attend a state-mandated training followed by a series of home visits in order to get to know your family better.

You will be able to set the pace for how quickly to proceed through this important step.

3

Licensing and Matching

If the background check, training and home study are completed, and your family is a good fit for the UC or URM program, you will officially become a licensed foster parent!

Your family resource worker will work with your team to match you with a youth in care.

4

Placement and Support

Now the real journey begins! You will be closely supported by a team of professionals as you welcome a new family member.

This partnership will continue as we collectively work to empower the youth toward reaching their full potential and the goal of living an independent and fulfilling life.

Trainings:

  • Complete a 30-hour Massachusetts Approach to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP) course provided by Ascentria
  • Complete a CPR/First Aid certification training provided by Ascentria
  • Agree to complete 20+ hours a year per foster parent of additional training, provided regularly through Ascentria.

Requirements:

✓ Be at least 25 years old

✓ Be a resident of Massachusetts

✓ Have a home that meets safety standards, including an available bedroom for a youth (can be homeowners or renters)

✓ Pass background checks including MA CORI/SORI, DCF history, and fingerprinting checks

✓ Single, partnered or married, all are welcome!

Download an Info Packet

Sign up to Become a Friend of Foster Care

To continue learning about our foster care programs and ways you can help our youth – subscribe to our quarterly newsletter!

Contact Us Today

Frequently Asked Questions

Our team can assist you with any questions you may have. Send us a message using the contact form below to start speaking with a foster parent recruiter.

Yes, as long as you have the time and resources to provide for a child.

Yes! Ascentria does not discriminate against foster parent applicants on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. In fact, Ascentria is committed to recruiting more LGBTQ+ identifying and affirming foster parents, as an increasing number of foster youth also identify with the LGBTQ+ community. It is essential that LGBTQ+ foster youth are placed into homes that will affirm their identities.

Yes, many of our current foster families are working parents that juggle the responsibilities of family life. It is important that our foster families be financially secure in order to meet the needs of the foster youth. It is equally important that working parents who want to foster for URM have flexible working hours in order to meet the needs of youth, including therapeutic services, medical/dental appointments, recreational activities, monthly visits with the child’s case worker and monthly visits with the family worker.

No. The only requirement is that your residence must meet safety standards and have appropriate physical space for a foster child.

No, they can share a bedroom with other children, as long ages and genders are appropriate together.

On average, it takes about 6 months to become a licensed foster parent. There are many factors that determine how long the licensing process takes. To become a foster parent you must attend 30 hours of training and have a social worker visit your home at least 4 times to complete a home study. If your schedule is flexible, you will be able complete the training sooner and meet with the social worker more frequently, thus helping the process along.

At this time, we do not. Ascentria Care Alliance runs the following two programs related to unaccompanied minors – the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program and the Unaccompanied Children Program. These programs provide foster care for youth with varying immigration statuses from a variety of countries who do not have a parent or guardian to care for them.

Ascentria’s Unaccompanied Refugee Minors program is one of the only programs in New England that assists unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children with foster care. Our program makes a difference by giving children a loving home environment, thus preventing them from spending prolonged periods in overcrowded detention centers or refugee camps. You can help our youth in a variety of ways. First and foremost, we have an urgent need for families willing to open up their hearts and homes to one or more of these youth as foster parents. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, please Contact Us. You can also volunteer as a mentor or make a donation.

The majority of youth enter our programs between ages 15 and 17. They must enter the program prior to their 18th birthday in order to be eligible. As with all children in Massachusetts foster care, once youth that are in the URM program turn 18, they are able to sign a voluntary placement agreement and remain in care until age 22. It is rare for youth in our program to be younger than 13.

Our program serves unaccompanied children who have typically embarked on the journey to the United States without a parent or guardian to care for them. Generally, unaccompanied minors who make the dangerous journey across the border alone are adolescents seeking safety and resources.

The goal for all children intercepted at the border is reunification with family, so long as that is in the best interests of the child. Of all children intercepted at the border, most are either repatriated back to their home country or are reunified with family here in the U.S. A very small percentage of youth are determined to be eligible for a URM program like ours. Our program serves this unique group of youth for whom it is determined that foster care is the best option.

On average, foster care placements in our program last between 2 and 3 years. With support from the program and their foster families, our goal is for URM youth to reach independence. Often youth that have finished high school are ready to move out of their foster homes into college settings or their own apartment. Many of our youth develop lifelong connections with their foster families and stay in touch for years to come, returning to the foster home for frequent visits.

Adding a new family member to your home will be life changing for each individual in your home. When a new youth comes into your home, many aspects of your daily routine will change; from the foods you cook to who uses the bathroom first. You need to be willing to make changes in your home in order to meet the needs of the new youth.

Yes! Many of our current foster parents have young biological children in the home, and have successfully added an unaccompanied teen into their family. These foster youth have experienced significant trauma, and it can be common for them to experience depression or anxiety. This looks different for each youth, but it may mean, for example, that they need encouragement to socialize and try new things. Your Ascentria social worker will help to support that everyone feels safe and comfortable.

Unlike traditional foster children, unaccompanied minors are generally not eligible for adoption. While it is possible in rare cases, most youth are not interested in adoption and instead hope to form lifelong connections with their foster parents as they work towards becoming independent.

Yes, it is possible in some cases. If there is an opportunity for an unaccompanied youth to reunify with family, our program pursues that option within the best interests of the child.

Our youth speak a variety of different languages. Many of our youth from Eritrea speak Tigrinya, while youth from the Democratic Republic of the Congo could speak Swahili or French. Many of our youth from Central America speak Spanish, but it is also common for these youth to speak an indigenous language from their community, such as Quiche from Guatemala. All of the youth are learning English at different levels, and foster families must be creative in communicating with them when they first arrive.

Our Locations

Massachusetts

11 Shattuck Street, Worcester, MA 01605
Phone: 774.243.3100

230 Second Avenue, Suite 125, Waltham, MA 02451
Phone: 781-373-9152

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